‘Jeopardy!’ Executive Producer Mike Richards Gives His Review of Aaron Rodgers as Guest Host

NFL Star Aaron Rodgers has clearly found his footing during his two-week stint as guest host of Jeopardy!. With the Green Bay Packer QB hoping for the role to become a permanent gig, executive producer Mike Richards considers him a strong contender.

Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers looks on against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half of the NFC Championship game at Levi's Stadium
Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers | Harry How/Getty Images

Mike Richards noted that there’s ‘no huddle’ on ‘Jeopardy!’

Richards explained how guest hosts, including Rodgers, are discovering the magnitude of manning the iconic Jeopardy! lectern. He watched as Rodgers continued to up his game.

“The intensity goes up in the real game, which Aaron found out,” Richards told NBC Sports. “You can see, even with the second show, his voice got better, his command got better, he started to enjoy it and have fun.”

Describing the pace of the game show, Richards revealed that moderating Jeopardy! requires the host to stay on their toes.

“The truth is, you never truly relax,” Richards remarked. “You’ve got the open, introducing the categories, 15 questions, the short interviews with the players, 15 more questions, 30 questions in Double Jeopardy, sum up, introduce Final Jeopardy, then do that, and through it all, you’re the arbiter of every question.”

Richards added, “And there’s no huddle.”

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Aaron Rodgers got high praise from ‘Jeopardy!’ executive producer

When assembling the roster of guest hosts after the death of legendary game show host Alex Trebek in November 2020, Richards aimed to recruit engaging personalities who had a connection with the show. The Jeopardy! executive producer was impressed with Rodgers’ preparation to take on the job, and knew the Super Bowl champ was a long time fan.

“Aaron Rodgers came in so prepared it was unbelievable,” Richards said, as reported by The Ringer. “He approached this like he was breaking down game footage.”

Richards likened Rodgers game prep akin to his routine before taking the football field.

“He watched a ton of episodes and he came in with questions like, ‘Now if this happens, how do I deal with it?'” Richards recalled. “And I was like, ‘Well, that doesn’t really happen.’ And he said, ‘I saw one! I want to know because I want to be prepared.’ He came in prepared like an MVP quarterback would for a huge game.”

Aaron Rodgers may have a ‘second career’ with ‘Jeopardy!’

The NFL star has been quite transparent about wanting to become the permanent Jeopardy! host. Richards views Rodgers’ interest as paying homage to Trebek’s legacy.

“It’s the ultimate compliment to Alex and to the franchise that Aaron is that forward with his thoughts, and so complimentary of the show,” he remarked.“What I find fascinating about Aaron is his second career could be better than his first.”

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Richards spoke with Trebek before his death to get his input on his successor. Jeopardy! producers intend to honor his wishes and maintain the game show as the standard of class that Trebek created.

“The qualities are things I had talked to Alex about,” Richards told USA Today in February 2021. “Alex Trebek was not a household name when he started the show [in 1984], but the qualities that made him so perfect for it were that he had a good voice, that he had an incredibly quick mind that can be the arbiter of the game – the host is the initial judge.”

Rodgers concludes his two-week stint guest hosting Jeopardy! on April 16.